KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is in the multi-year process of updating Conservation Area Management Plans and is seeking public input on how conservation areas are important to Missourians. A draft management plan for MDC’s Big Creek Conservation Area is available for public review through Dec. 31. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
Big Creek Conservation Area contains 1,064 acres of forest, woodland, savanna, native grassland, old field habitat, and food plots adjacent to Thousand Hills State Park, just west of Kirksville in Adair County. The area offers public opportunities for camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and birdwatching.
MDC manages this area to provide diverse habitat for fish and wildlife species, protect soil and water quality, and provide recreational and educational opportunities for the citizens of Missouri.
Statewide, MDC conservation areas cover almost one million public acres for the purpose of restoring and conserving forest, fish, and wildlife resources, and for providing opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. Most Missourians are within a 30-minute drive of an MDC conservation area.
Conservation Area Management Plans focus on natural resource management and public use on conservation areas. The plans do not address regulations on hunting, fishing, and other area uses, which are set by the Conservation Commission and enforced under the Wildlife Code of Missouri. MDC will consider all ideas received and will work to balance the issues and interests identified with the responsibility of managing areas for the present and future benefits to forest, fish, wildlife, and people. Decisions on which ideas to incorporate into area plans and on how to best incorporate them will be based on the property’s purpose, its physical and biological conditions and capabilities, the best roles of the property in its local, regional, and statewide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.